Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake

Okay, guys, this is the last entry in my Christmas Recipe Log for this year. I swear.

I know I’m really stretching it and it’s about time I got back with the regular program, but there was just no way I could not share this awesome recipe with you on the simple account that this is what I had for dessert over 3 weeks ago and that this night also happened to coincide with Jesus Christ’s birthday.

In fact, I had planned on making this dessert for a VERY long time and it was sitting right at the top of my list of reasons to look forward to Christmas this year.

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake | by Sonia The Healthy Foodie

I must confess that, ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been a HUGE fan of the classic Fruit Cake. For me, and for the longest time, it was part of my Holiday tradition and Christmas just wasn’t Christmas if it didn’t include a slice or ten of my beloved treat.

Well, I can now officially affirm that this cake has converted me. From now on, when I get a craving for Christmas Fruit Cake, this is what will come to mind. For this was probably a thousand times better. 

In fact, I liked it so much that I would’ve loved to roll myself in it. All day. Or well, at least half the day.

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake | by Sonia The Healthy Foodie

I’m afraid I also have a second confession to make. I must shamelessly admit that when I made this dessert, I was in a very festive (and fairly loose) mood, so I decided to soak my dried fruits in a bit of rum for the night. It was a very good move, though, buh-lieve you me!

My oh my, did this add a lot of depth and intensity to the flavor of this already delicious dessert. Plus, hey, I used so little that in the end, each slice probably got the equivalent of a teaspoon of booze. Nothing worth loosing sleep over. 

But adding the booze really isn’t mandatory. I’m absolutely certain that even without the rum, this cake would be just as decadent.

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake | by Sonia The Healthy Foodie

Everything about it is perfect, if you ask me. The texture is nice and dense, yet unbelievably moist, just like you would expect from a good Fruit Cake. The dried fruits and nuts are bountiful and the creamy pieces of chestnuts confer a little touch of distinction to this elegant and classy cake.

In fact, it came out even better than the non-paleo version of this same cake that I’d made earlier last year.

A hundred times better.

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake | by Sonia The Healthy Foodie

And in case you are wondering, no, I do not miss the artificially colored candied cherries or the sugar bombs that are chunks of dried pineapple.

I’m telling you, this cake definitely takes the cake. And I can guarantee you that it’ll find a spot on my Christmas table again next year, and the year after, and the following year…

Between the Meatball Stew, the Pie Crust, the Tourtière, and this cake, I think I’ve successfully rewritten tradition and made it deliciously Paleo this year.

And trust me, that’s a good thing!  

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake

Yield: Serves 12-16

NF based on 1 of 16 servings

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake


    For the cake
    Dry Ingredients
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Fruits and Nuts
  • 1 bag (150g) roasted and peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1 can (435g) unsweetened chestnut puree
  • ½ cup date paste
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • For the Coconut “Glaze”
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Few drops pure almond extract
  • Garnish
  • 6 dried apricots, whole
  • 6 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 3 walnut halves, chopped
  • 6 pecan halves, chopped
  • Optional
  • ¼ cup rum to soak the dried fruits, if desired*


    For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease a 9” springform pan with lard or ghee
  3. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and give them a good spin until everything is nicely combined.
  4. Transfer that to a large mixing bowl and incorporate the ingredients from the "Fruits and Nuts" section. Mix well with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula so that all the little bits and pieces get completely covered in flour. Set aside.
  5. Add all wet ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour that mixture over the reserved dry ingredients and mix delicately with a rubber spatula until very well combined. Do not overmix.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake in the oven for 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Set on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before removing cake from pan.
  9. For the glaze
  10. Add all the ingredients to a small mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  11. Place cake on a cake plate and pour glaze right in the center. Spread it gently and evenly all the way to the sides.
  12. Garnish with a few chopped apricots, raisins, pecans and walnuts.


*If you want to soak your fruits in rum, which really confers a nice festive flavor to the cake, do so the night before. Simply place all of the dried fruits (those that go in the cake and those that get used for garnish) to soak in about 1/3 cup of rum. When comes time to add the fruits to the cake, simply scoop out those that go in the batter and leave the rest in the bowl until you are ready to use them. When that happens, simply add the nuts to the bowl, give it all a good stir, fish out the goods out and arrange them in the middle of the cake, then pour the rum that’s left in the bowl right over the cake: it’ll get soaked up and make your cake extra moist and boozy! I know, I know, rum isn’t really paleo, but hey, sometimes, you got to give a little... just promise you won’t make it a habit, alright?

Paleo Chestnut Fruit Cake | by Sonia The Healthy Foodie


  1. Jackie says

    This looks perfect! I wish I would have had this recipe for the holidays, but I will save it for next year!! Could pumpkin puree be used in place of the chestnut puree? I have no idea where I would even find a can of that – I have never seen it.

    • says

      To be honest, Jackie, I have no idea. For sure, it would completely change the taste and I don’t know that it would work all that great with this cake. But you know, chestnut puree is fairly easy to find. Most major grocery store chains carry it. Just ask, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding it. And it’s really worth it, trust me! :)

  2. MJ says

    This sounds delicious but I would not ever use lard to grease my pan or in any recipe.
    I will use Coconut is solid like lard but is good for you in sooo many ways. I even use it when recipes call for Shortening. …google Coconut will be amazed of its many uses.
    Going to make this even tho it’s January.
    Thanks :)

    • says

      Sure, MJ, coconut oil would work great too, I guess, so feel free to use that if you prefer. Coconut oil would be one of my faves to cook with and use it all the time, too. And hey, there’s no rules against having fruitcake in January. Hope you like it! 😀

  3. says

    I haven’t had chestnuts in years. I know, weird…I wonder why then; because I do like them quite a lot.
    But if you’re willing to send me a slice of this awesome fruit cake, I’d be happy to get on the chestnut bandwagon back again!

    • says

      Ah, but chestnuts are so good. I don’t indulge ALL that often myself because I find them to be a tad too high in carbs for my taste, so I tend to see them more like a little bit of a treat, but I really like to incorporate them to some of my dishes from time to time, especially since I discovered the “ready to eat” stuff. Because let’s face it, the fresh things are a real bitch to prep. Between making the cuts at the risk of losing a finger and peeling them while they’re still hot, which will inevitably burn your fingers and test your patience, one has to be really motivated to eat fresh roasted chestnuts. Unless maybe it’s just me that has no idea how to prep them easily and efficiently.

      As for sending you a slice of that cake, that could very well be arranged… how much money you got? Hey, this thing is worth gold, you know! 😉

  4. says

    This is so yummy! My family has a kind of tradition to eat chestnut when one of ours has birthday. Weird? I know. It’s unusual, but we love it. My Mom even will tell the story of why chestnut is so important for our family. Love to pin this cake. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      What a great tradition that is, Eleora! And I bet the story behind it is equally fantastic! Hopefully, this cake will become part of this great family tradition. Please do let me know how you liked it if you end up trying it. 😀

  5. joannabanana21 says

    i think i’d like to pay you to make this and ship it to my house!!! muahahaha i am picturing just how insane your counter must’ve looked with all these ingredients everywhere!! when i bake, i beg my sister to help with dishes and help measure/put away ingredients because it is so overwhelming!!!

    • says

      Hahaha! Well despite the very long list of ingredients, this cake is really super easy to make and won’t mess up your kitchen too badly. Nothing too overwhelming, I promise! I bet you won’t even need sis’s help. 😉

  6. Virginia G says

    I can’t make this because I would have to eat almost the whole thing by myself, but it looks FANTASTIC! Maybe for my husband’s birthday or something. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Trick is, you need to pre-slice and freeze! At least that’s what I did… which reminds me: I still have some in the freezer. Uhm… I you will excuse me, I think I have some sudden urgent business to attend to! (*and with that, she runs to the freezer*) 😀

  7. cassy says

    I have to make this cake for christmas this year – it looks so good! After I soak the fruit in rum, Just wondering if i could pour the rum into the batter and top it up with extra water? do you think this would work? Thanks!

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